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Oklahoma Uniform Jury Instructions
Criminal 2nd Edition (
including 1997, 2000, 2003, and 2005 thru 2018 supplements )
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OUJI-CR 5-19

EMBEZZLEMENT - INTRODUCTION

The defendant is charged with felony/misdemeanor embezzlement of [Description of Property, Amount, etc.] on [Date] (owned by)/(entrusted to him/her/them by) [Name of Owner, Employer, etc.] in [Name of County] County, Oklahoma.

Committee Comments

This introductory instruction is meant for use with the crimes set forth in Title 21, Chapter 59, entitled Embezzlement.

Under 21 O.S. Supp. 2002, § 1451(B), the crime of embezzlement is a misdemeanor if the value of the property embezzled is less than $500, and it is a felony if the value of the property embezzled is $500 or more.

Embezzlement is basically a crime against ownership, since the defendant has acquired physical possession by lawful means. If the defendant unlawfully acquired physical possession, he should have been charged with larceny, a crime against possession, not with embezzlement. The usual case involves entrustment of property by the owner to a person who embezzles the property. The language "owned by" is appropriate here. Situations arise, however, in which an agent embezzles money received from a principal but under circumstances that make it inappropriate to say that the principal is the owner of the property. See, e.g., State v. Harrison, 1989 OK CR 27, 5, 777 P.2d 1343, 1345 (embezzlement statute covered employer who withheld taxes on behalf of the State but refused to pay them over to the State); Wallen v. State, 1961 OK CR 110, ¶ 1, 367 P.2d 516, 517 (Justice of the Peace failed to pay fines he collected into the county treasury); Wiley v. State, 1960 OK CR 4, ¶¶ 8-10, 349 P.2d 30, 34 (assistant county attorney received fines from traffic violators); Waldock v. State, 42 Okl. Cr. 331, 333-34, 276 P. 509, 511 (1929) (trustee of county received proceeds of bond issue). In these latter situations, the language "entrusted to him by" is more appropriate.

(2005 Supp.)


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